ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The first day of classes at Oakland University in suburban Detroit started Thursday, Sept. 2, with a strike by professors.

“Oakland is using the pandemic as a pretext to cut faculty compensation and exert control over academic programs. … The money is there to fairly compensate faculty,” union president Karen Miller said.

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The union represents more than 800 people at Oakland. Members stood along streets with signs that said, “For A Better OU.”

The university said it regrets the strike but also urged students to report to classrooms and wait 15 minutes to see if an instructor would appear.

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“The university’s negotiating team urges faculty to teach and requests that non-faculty employees urge faculty to do the same,” Oakland said.

The university had 15,000 undergraduate students and 3,400 graduate students a year ago.

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